Kiev, Ukraine. Ukraine continues to “try” to end its addiction to corruption with a lot of talk, but little action. But now as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) tells them to open a functional corruption court, free of bribery, Kiev finds itself at risk of losing $16 billion dollars if it does not comply with their masters desires.

The Ukraine’s open competition for vacant corruption court judge posts is in danger of turning into farce. The Commission which chooses successful candidates has ignored 80% of the negative assessments issued by the Public Integrity Council and is rejecting calls for vitally needed transparency.

At this rate, lawyer Romashka Yatzerdicz warns, the term ‘Your Dishonour’ would be the more appropriate form of address for a considerable percentage of the new judges. She is not alone in sounding the alarm as the selection process rolls on with few, if any actual selectees in sight.

Ukropian Legislation was adopted in 2016 to both strengthen the role of the corruption courts and to end judicial immunity in Ukraine. In one case last year, a Judge was actually caught with the bribe money in his hand and released, due to the immunity clause in Ukropian law.

An apparent openness to candidates from outside the system proved on paper alone. The selection committee removed 87.6% of such candidates (defence lawyers, legal specialists, etc.) before any tests were taken meaning that only 20 of the 250 judges needed could possibly come from outside the system.

There have been ongoing problems with lack of transparency. The qualification commission of corruption law judges was supposed to publish information about the candidates on its site. Since the details about some of the candidates who have sailed through all parts of the competition are damning, with most all having unexplained assets or moral issues with underage sex, substance abuse or domestic abuse in a number of cases. One can easily see why they won’t be posting this information online.

There was further scandal when 90 candidates who had not passed the test and should have been knocked out of the running, were slipped back in for consideration, by Poroshenko officials desperate to save the $16 billion dollars disapearing before their eyes.

Ukraine’s “public integrity council” also issued a negative assessment regarding 140 candidates (44%). These were based on intensive study of previous court rulings, including those involving mafia crimes, information from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau, as well as on over three thousand reports received from members of the public. Negative information was also provided that needed to be checked concerning a further 128 candidates deemed “questionable characters.”

Very close attention was paid to cases where judges and their families had wealth and property in no way commensurate with their declared income. The Poroshenko administration is in near panic mode as few candidates of actual fitness exist to run a court rooted in the European Union’s fertile imagination.

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